3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her.
Mark 14:3-5 (ESV)
As we read this scripture we have a few individuals we need to discuss; Simon the Leper, the women and the disciples. Each of them brings an area that we as Christians need to examine in our own life. Simon the Leper for example is hosting a dinner two days before the Passover feast. He is entertaining Jesus and His disciples; what you need to understand though is lepers where not welcomed by others and those who did not have the disease stayed as far away from lepers as possible. They were considered unclean and those who touched them were also unclean. Theologians’ hazard the guess that Jesus had healed him and like many of us he still carried a label of leper so those who heard the testimony would know the miracle Jesus had brought to His life. We always must remember what God has delivered us from so we can serve others who struggle with those same issues.
Then we have a woman we do not know who she is as we read this scripture. Some of the other gospels refer to her as Mary of Bethany; but who she was really is not as important as what she has done. She has come to anoint Jesus and in doing this she has sacrificed financially and personally. The cost of the oil is the equivalent of a year’s wages. Who here would be willing to give every penny of your income to God for the next year? If you would not give your finances how about your time; a year dedicated solely to the service of God. So this women has basically done both. Given where how we use and spend our money often reflects what is important to us. She is rewarded for what she has done eternally even if the disciples complain at this point.
Let us look at their reaction and see what we can learn from it. These men became indignant, which means they were jealous. You might wonder why I say they were jealous; well indignant means, to become angry or annoyed at what is perceived as unfair treatment. As far as the disciples were concerned that was money and time wasted; their excuse was it could have gone to the poor. In reality it was really about someone receiving something that the others did not. This happens in our churches today and often it leads to problems and divisions amongst God’s people. Too many individuals become jealous of those who desire to serve God and begin to say things that are untrue about them. They will talk about other preachers and teachers trying to cause trouble and to stir up dissention within the body of Christ. Not just with in the local church but within the Church as a whole. People leave one church and say things about where and why they left. In a hope of that others will follow them to this new and better place. As always in the end Scripture holds to be true. This woman and her testimony have been preached throughout history as an example for us to follow about service to God and His Son Jesus. It should always be about service to Him first and foremost no matter what the cost. Your rewards are not here they await you in glory. Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word.